Category Archives: Travel

Have friend-will travel!

My friend Cecil came to visit me from Texas.  We have been friends since before my daughter was born (she is 34). As long as we have known each other, we have liked traveling.  Sometimes we do the local things in a given area and other times we venture out a bit.

I kept asking Cecil when he could come and he finally pinned down some dates in April.  So then I compiled some ideas about what we could do. My husband suggested that we alternate longer trips and shorter trips-ending with local activities on Cecil’s last day.  This was a great idea.  With Cecil arriving Monday afternoon-we had four full days for fun-Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Saturday we would bring Cecil to the airport early-so that we could participate in an Earth Day Vendor Event in Orlando.

Monday we went to dinner at Rib City-this place is one mile from our home in Grant. The owner of this place has really made this a favorite local spot.  Great food, great service, and great atmosphere.  It is so wonderful to have this place so close to home! Not only is the food great, but The Old Grant Creamery is on the premises with the best ice cream ever!  While Cecil was here I think we went a total of three times-Cecil loved it!

This is what we decided on for our week of fun.

Day 1 Tuesday: Tarpon Springs

Day 2 Wednesday: Sanford, Cassadaga,  and dinner at Megan’s

Day 3 Thursday:  St. Augustine

Day 4 Friday: Indian Buffet Lunch, Downtown, and Beach Walk

Day 1: We headed to the sponge docks at Tarpon Springs. The weather was comfortable until the afternoon and by then we were ready to leave. We ate at Yianni’s.  I told Cecil he MUST have the flaming cheese ( Saganaki). Cecil did like the flaming cheese but I learned that Cecil does not like Gyros.  For him the meat and the spices were strange. I loved mine and he offered me the rest of his-but I was full. We walked the streets and we picked up a couple things.  I loved lunch-but the Gyro was not Cecil’s favorite. It was a great ride though-both ways.  Cecil and I like to take back roads-you never know what you will see. We went to Abbott’s Custard in Vero-kinda on the way home.  Abbott’s is something I have been connected to since childhood when my grandparents took us every summer.  Cecil loved it of course.

Decorated bicycles in Tarpon Springs, FL

Day 2: I told Cecil about Sanford after friends and I had gone their to see a friend’s art exhibit.  I fell in love with this town.  There is a great variety of stores and eateries. There is so much charm in this city.  I love the Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery.   I think Cecil was surprised by some of the crazy (that’s a good thing) art in there.  He really liked the watercolors. A new group was setting up and we met an artist that was retired after 47 years of teaching.  As Cecil and I are both retired teachers-that was fun.  We walked the streets, which are beautiful, and at my suggestion ate at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe.     My stepdaughter had recommended this to me and I had gone there with my girlfriends on the first trip.  This is excellent food.  I do not remember what Cecil had but he did like it.  I had the sausage plate again (like last time) but this time had sauerkraut and mashed potatoes with it.  The mashed potatoes were the best I have ever put in my mouth.  The kraut was fantastic and if you eat German food-you know mashed potatoes and kraut together are amazing.  I had the bratwurst-also fantastic.

After Sanford we decided to bop over to Cassadaga.    Cecil had been years before and enjoyed the town, bookstore, and a reading. He had the reading and left feeling great about everything the person shared.  He tried to get the same person again but she was busy.  He was able to meet with someone that day and was very happy with that person as well.  It was very interesting to listen to things Cecil had to say about the experience and that was one event this time that when he told me about it, I got goosebumps…

 

Last stop for day 2 is to Megan’s for dinner. She made a fantastic eggplant dish-I bought the salad fixins’.

Day 3: St. Augustine-the nation’s oldest city. I love St Augustine so I suggested it. It’s a bit of a ride but Cecil and I enjoy long rides and he would often look at the map and find alternate routes to using the highway.  We arrived in time for lunch and ate at a place I hadn’t eaten at before.  The menu offered Po Boys which appealed to both of us.  While the inside was typical casual decor-the food was great! The Florida Cracker Cafe–  I admit I loved the name.  It reminds me that I told Cecil he must read A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith.  When I mentioned this to Cecil in the Sanford bookstore, a woman chimed in and also shared her love for the book. We walked around after lunch and I was excited to find some jewelry pieces by Kelli Rae Roberts on sale. When the afternoon got warm-we headed home.  I think we stopped at The Old Grant Creamery again-Cecil said it is the best ice cream he has ever had.

Day 4: Kept things local this day because Cecil would leave early the next morning.  Didn’t want to tire him out! In the morning I stayed home and got a little work done-then we headed out for a few short errands before lunch.  My grandogs Lotus & Po are having a one year Whobilation (birthday) on Sunday so first stop was the pet store to get gifts.  My daughter always collects donations for the shelter at their BD but come on-I am the grammy so I was buying a present.  Megan told me Lotus needed something challenging-that girl is smart.  So I picked a puzzle with four things to do.  For Po-I chose a ball machine.  You put the ball in and it shoots out.  I also knew Diesel (chihuahua) would love it. Off to Taste of India for buffet lunch

We both enjoyed it-I have never been disappointed here.  After lunch we went downtown.  I found a new store there Giftique, with lots of things my friend Annette would like.  I have my eye on a gold crown I saw there. Lots of art by Kellie Rae RobertsCecil bought some bath salts at Indian River Soap .

After perusing downtown-we headed over the bridge to the beach.  Every time Cecil visits we go to the beach.  As we walked this time, we remembered when we first took Megan on a beach walk.  She was about three and would walk at the water’s edge, fall down, run a few more feet, fall down-she loved it.  It was a perfect day for a walk-in fact we were very fortunate to have beautiful weather every day Cecil was here.

Friday night-Cecil’s last night-he offered to take us for dinner to our other favorite local eatery-The Old Fish House Bar & Grill.  We sat outside and it was wonderful.  We suggested the Redfish to Cecil as it is a favorite.  I , however, have been craving clam strips so that is what I ordered-with hushpuppies of course because they are amazing.  We had a nice dinner-but then it was back home to work.  Marty and I had samples to prepare and had to pack the car completely for the Earth Day Event at Lake Eola the next day.  Cecil offered to help but we declined-thinking it would not take long! Sorry to say that we worked till almost ten! Cecil decided to turn in-good idea as we would be out early in the morning.

I always enjoy when Cecil comes.  I am looking forward now to getting back to Texas, on his territory.  Have a quite a few friends I can visit in Texas-it’s a big state.

I kept the list of ideas Cecil and I compiled for travel-for when he comes again.

Please follow and like us:

Sanford & Friends

I tend to be a workaholic-thank goodness for wild and crazy art friends to remind me to have fun! My friend  Mychele is on a roll with her creativity and is inspiring me to make time for creativity as well.

Artsy girls need to see art! Our friend Jaci suggested that we all go to Sanford to the Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery when our friend Tracy Stilwell would have an exhibit there.

While this may be a bit blurry, I love this shot of myself, Mychele, and Jaci under Tracy’s eyes.

Jaci and I drove over from my home and Mychele met us there.  We all, for some reason, thought this was a small gallery but it was not! Not only were there many rooms of art but rooms where artists worked on site.  Our hostess with the mostest, Bailey, told us how the gallery was laid out and got us going on our adventure.

     

I really enjoyed one couple we met-The Abbots.  Debe  had an eclectic collection of work as did her artist husband, Kevin. They have been doing art together for thirty years I think they said!  I admit my favorites are the rooms she creates.  You can see this process on her blog at Evolution of a Painting.   Mychele and I agreed she had painted our dream room/house.  We spent a lot of time talking to Debe and Kevin-great people!

              

Of course our main mission was to see Tracy’s work so we headed to that area and enjoyed seeing her Garden Girls and fabric creations.We took several photos and left her a love note at the comment area. Tracy’s fabric creations each have their own story.  They are filled with images and details-each one takes time to see fully.

                    

We were surprised to see a small collection of work by another friend Midge Beaudoin.

Midge and Tracy have both taught classes at Art More Place in Melbourne Florida. That is how I met these two artsy gals.

This not so little gallery is very impressive and I cannot wait to go back.

While shopping in the gift area, I was thrilled to find a fused glass bird pendant. I loved it immediately , bought it, and named her Sky.  I have worn her every day since and get at least two comments a day . The artisan is Martin Cheek .

After all the fun at the gallery-we asked our hostess ,Bailey, about lunch suggestions.  She and Debe gave us lots and we ended up next door at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe. My stepdaughter-Katie, quite a connoisseur, had recently suggested this place when she heard I was going to Sanford.  When she says you MUST go there, trust it.  It was right next door and I had read on yelp that they were great at helping with gluten-free/vegetarian choices.  Turns out they had a vegetarian menu! Our server Dalton was amazing! I was very hungry and therefore overwhelmed with the extensive menu.  He helped me pick something out quickly which I great appreciated.  He described the different sausages so I could make a choice.  I admit, when selecting sides, etc I went with his favorites-and I am glad I did. Dalton helped me select a sausage plate and two sides. It was delicious! The decor in this place was German of course-loved everything about this place. Although I did not have any, it seems there were many great beers on hand.

        

After lunch we strolled just a bit more.  We found a bookstore Maya Books and Music.  Well of course I was going in! (for those of you that don’t know me personally,Maya is my poodle’s name) This bookstore was packed with stacks and stacks of books.       

Then I found Magpies. I LOVED this place!  Just a room full of unique treasures!  I found soaps, gourmet cotton candy, jewelry, clothing, and small unique home decor pieces.  Cannot wait to go back! I set up the place on yelp because it was not on there and it deserves to be seen! Don’t miss it if you are in Sanford.

      

Sanford was a beautiful town and I admit I plan to get back there as soon as I can.   Even the walls of the buildings were unusual-encrusted with memorabilia. I did not have enough time that day to explore as much as I would have liked.

Mychele taking a shot!
View down the main street-there are many side streets as well!
just one of the encrusted walls.
Another encrusted wall-I thought this was fascinating.
A shot down the other side of the main road. Everything was so beautiful!

Sanford is now one of my favorite towns for a getaway.  Who wants to go?

Mychele also wrote about our day.  See her version here!

Please follow and like us:

There’s No Place Like Home…

Originally posted on Blogger 6/3/12

We just returned after a bit of a driving trip.  We started out heading to St. Louis for the wedding of someone we have been involved with for most of his life.  The wedding was beautiful.  It was also great fun to be with friends after the wedding. We decided to take in St. Louis a bit before leaving town and I am glad we did.  We visited the zoo, the botanical gardens, and a couple local restaurants before we left for our next destination. Pappy’s Smokehouse and Joey B’s On The Hill both served up wonderful food.  I give them both five stars!

Next-Kansas City. When we were invited to the wedding, I immediately begged my husband to take me back to Kansas City. I totally enjoyed the Country Club Plaza-a huge mall of sorts where you are walking outside instead of in.  Kansas City is also known for barbecue. Last time we went to Fiorelli’s Jack Stack and it was great so we wanted to go back.  On our first trip-it was closed so we went to Brio Tuscan Grill. It was wonderful and we were so glad to find it.  We enjoyed the plaza for two days and a great lunch each day.

My favorite place in Kansas City tho is Stuff. We were in Kansas City two days and my husband knew enough about I felt about this store-he took me there first thing both days. If I was to ever open a store, it would be like this.  Local artists from the area have filled this store with the most creative things I have ever seen.  You can’t go just once because you’ll miss something.  Add to that some great bubbly girls ready to help and it just can’t get any better.  You can visit them online, like them on facebook, and shop online as well.

We left Kansas City to go visit my friend Neil and his wife of two years.  They live in Alabama. We trusted our GPS to take us there and ended up on a very long back road with no hotels, food, or gas.  After a long ride we found a Hampton and met up with Neil the next day. There’s nothing like being with an old friend.  It is a very emotional experience.  As soon as you are together-the connection is as strong as ever.  This time, however, I was more interested in getting to know his wife. It did not take long for me to love her completely. I had to hold back tears many times-thankful that she is in his life and so thankful to get to know her. It was hard to leave them when we were just starting to have great fun but I also felt a great sense of peace knowing they had each other. Neil has been an important person in my life and I care for him a great deal.  There is nothing that can give you peace more than knowing someone you love dearly is living a happy life!

Next stop-Pensacola.  Cousins John & Lil always welcome us to their home. Molly (black lab) is part of the greeting committee.  We were sorry not to see Jemima (basset hound) this time -she lived a long and happy life.  Our time with the Kings is always a great mix of fun.  This time they finally let us take them out to eat.  I also helped John set up folders on his IPad.  Lil wanted to make earrings and I was so excited to help her make earrings and a bracelet to match. I love touring the yard-blueberry bushes, vegetable garden, scuppernong grapes, pecan trees, kumquats, and much more.  One time there were baby bluebirds. We talk about family stories and try to catch up as we only see each other every couple years.  I do cry when I leave them-every time.  If I lived closer I am sure I would be with Lil several times a week.  I want to be just like her when I grow up.

I am so thankful for this trip but even more thankful to get home.  I am thankful we arrived safe.  I am thankful for all the things we have here that has made it our home. I am thrilled to see Maya (mini poodle) again and thankful for my favorite comforts of home.

Tomorrow…the projects begin.

April 16, 2015

Your turn: How do you like to travel (prefer car or plane) and what is one of your favorite places you have Been?

 

Please follow and like us: